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You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake

commentary I'm sure if you asked them, every networking vendor would tell you their products are unique in the marketplace. For example, in a press release issued last week, Cisco hyped up its brand spanking new telepresence solution, saying it "completely changes the experience of remote communications".
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Written by Renai LeMay on
commentary I'm sure if you asked them, every networking vendor would tell you their products are unique in the marketplace.
Renai LeMay, ZDNet Australia
For example, in a press release issued last week, Cisco hyped up its brand spanking new telepresence solution, saying it "completely changes the experience of remote communications".

Bollocks!

Your writer was at a France Telecom event in Beijing some 12 months ago where substantially the same effect was demonstrated. And that wasn't the first time your writer had seen it.

The French demo was cool, but too expensive to be practical for 99 percent of customers -- just like Cisco's solution, which costs US$299,000 for a room-sized version.

That's why after having spent the last week having to read article after article about Cisco and its new technology, it was refreshing yesterday to talk to somebody out in the real world -- Edith Cowan University's IT infrastructure manager Steve Johnston.

Johnston told your writer that when ECU recently went shopping for a massive new data network, his team realised that there wasn't much technical difference between the various vendors' hardware.

"Our assessment was that as long as you chose a vendor and implemented their best practice, and their design for how a network should be structured, then technically you would get a very similar result," he said.

Johnston's comments brought to mind one of the most memorable scenes from David Fincher's hit 1999 film Fight Club.

"Listen up maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else," the charismatic Tyler Durden tells a bunch of recruits to his fledgling underground army.

In other words, just because a vendor is hyping up their latest technology, don't be fooled into thinking it's somehow special and unique until you've gone through a thorough process of evaluation.

Odds are, if one multinational company is ploughing billions of dollars of research and development money into a technology, at least some of their competitors are too.

Are some networking vendors technically superior, or are they all relatively similar? Drop me a line at renai.lemay@zdnet.com.au or post your opinion below this article.

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